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New law bringing billions to VA hospitals

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Billions of dollars are coming to VA hospitals across the country, including the one in Memphis.

President Barack Obama signed a new law aimed at cutting down on delays.

The VA has been rocked with scandal recently, with reports of patients even dying from insufficient or delayed care.

The law is called the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act. It will allow more staff to be hired and give the VA secretary more power to quickly fire under-performing administrators, but it comes at a hefty price.

Gwendolyn Roberts is an army veteran and the Memphis VA patient, one who is frustrated with the care she is receiving.

"They're rude. They're arrogant," she said of the VA. "They act like we owe them."

VA hospitals across the country came under fire recently for delayed care and even some deaths that were reported.

Now, the president has signed a new law aimed at correcting the problems.

"It's about time that the president did something more for the veterans," Roberts said.

The law allots $5 billion for hiring more doctors and nurses and $10 billion to pay private doctors to treat those who cannot get quick enough care at their own VA centers.

Veteran Charles Chandler said, "I have prescriptions to be refilled. Sometimes I get them. Sometimes I don't."

It also makes it easier for the VA secretary to fire under-performing administrators.

But of course the law does not come without a hefty cost. It is estimated to cost $16 billion over the next three years and at $10 billion to the federal deficit over the next decade.

Local vets insist it is money well spent.

The law also devotes money to building more VA centers and cuts bonuses for VA employees by $40 million.

1 Comment

  • Kevin Lewis

    Congrats on signing the Bill Pres. Obama. I have been treated at the VA, and I have received great care. When I lived in Houston, DR’s couldn’t find out what was causing my High Blood Pressure they sent me to several specialist and ran many test and tried several medications and these were top notch hospitals using my private insurance. I moved back home to Memphis and had to use my VA benefits until the Medical Insurance at my new Job started (90 days) and when I went to my first Appt. (which only took 2 weeks) My BP was through the roof…The DR. sent me upstairs to the Eye DR to check my eyes to see if he could determine what was causing it and when he said my eyes were ok The DR asked me a few simple Questions about my eating and drinking habits…he asked if i drank Coffee and when I told him no, he asked if I drank a lot of Cokes and when I said yes, he brought me a pill and had me take it and in 20 mins my Pressure was normal. It only took him a few hours to figure out (what the Dr’s in Houston after being treated for a year couldn’t) that Caffeine was the cause.

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